Dr. Kim’s Blog

Dr. Kim Okamura Welcome to my blog! This blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE. Happy reading!
When we consider dental problems, worn teeth aren’t usually the first thing to come to mind. But so many of the more obvious issues (yellow teeth, sensitivity, unhealthy bite, jaw pain) actually stem from enamel wear. When teeth are worn and not at their full height, the jaws can’t operate in harmony. Vertical dimension of the occlusion is a fancy term that indicates just how tall the upper and lower teeth should be. Appropriate vertical dimension leads to a healthy bite, good tooth function, and a beautiful smile. Dr. Okamura is currently working with a patient who has experienced significant enamel loss. Through neuromuscular dentistry, we have restored his teeth to their natural height and are returning health to his smile. Check out our before and after photos, and read on to learn more about all that these changes mean for healthy teeth and daily comfort. Do you have worn teeth? Schedule ...
Are you curious about the dental implant procedure? Dental implants are a great way to restore the look and function of your mouth when you suffer multiple seriously damaged, missing or decayed teeth. Implants aren’t perfect for everyone – but they are the ideal solution for the right patients. What Are Dental Implants? Dental implants consist of two parts. First, specialized implant parts are surgically placed into the jawbone. Once the bone around the implant heals, the implant is used as a sturdy “platform” for future restorative placement. How Do Dental Implants Work? When dentists refer to dental implants, they are addressing the specialized “screw” and additional parts. These are typically fabricated from titanium which has the special property of being osteophilic – it merges effectively with bone—the bone, in turn, does not “reject” the material, making them the strongest option for anchoring the restorative crown. How Long Does a Dental Implant Procedure Take? The implant placement ...
Feel like you need to constantly wet your whistle? Drinking water is always a positive thing, but when you’re constantly grabbing your water bottle because your mouth feels dry, that’s a warning sign. Dry mouth, professionally known as xerostomia, is a serious dental problem with big associated health risks. If you’re suffering from dry mouth, getting treatment will not only protect your teeth and gums from harm but get you feeling comfortable again. Certain individuals are more likely to experience dry mouth. If you’re on the high risk list, it’s a good idea to be extra vigilant and always check in with your dentist on schedule. Below, we’ve compiled information on common dry mouth symptoms, risk factors and home care options. If you think your mouth is feeling dry, don’t hesitate to get in touch for help. Xerostomia Health Risks Dry mouth might not seem serious on its own, but considering the larger ...
Of the many changes that have come with the new presidential administration, environmental regulations under the Environmental Protection Agency are some of the most sweeping. Because all new or pending EPA regulations have been frozen, dental offices in the US are feeling the effects. The specific rule that has affected dentists is one that requires offices to install amalgam separators - the Mercury Effluent Rule. This rule required that dental offices install amalgam separators by 2019. Finalized in December but not yet published, offices are suddenly no longer required to comply. Wondering what an amalgam separator is and what it could possibly have to do with you? Read on to learn more about what this regulation (or lack thereof) is likely to do to the environment and its inhabitants. Importance of Amalgam Separators Amalgam is one type of material used in fillings (as opposed to resin-based composite, another common option). Amalgam contains mercury ...
When you ask your child what they care about the most, the answer probably isn’t healthy teeth. But kids’ cavity-free smiles are absolutely crucial in helping them develop healthy permanent teeth, getting them comfortable with the dentist, and forming positive self-images. Those factors make it more than worth it to spend some extra time getting your children engaged with their dental health. The process doesn’t have to be difficult - a few subtle tweaks to daily life will help prevent decay and preserve strong teeth. Whether your kids love brushing or try every trick in the book to avoid it, there are ways to get them more excited about their oral health & home hygiene. We’ve put together some of the most helpful changes you can make below. If you ever have questions about your kids’ teeth, don’t hesitate to contact our office. We’re here to help your whole family get ...
Thanks for checking up on us! Our practice has been keeping busy continuing to broaden our horizons and striving to offer the best possible care. Our new hygienist, Kim Nonaka RDH, is the most recent addition to our team. She and Dr. Okamura have been taking advanced courses to gain certification in laser dental techniques. Dr. Okamura and Kim have traveled to South Dakota to complete their first laser training course, and Kim will be following up with an April class in Arizona. After completing this course, she will be listed on the Academy of Laser Dentistry website. We’ve put together some details about her certification below so that you can learn more about how this big step could transform your dental care. Dental Laser Certification: What’s Involved? This program is a formal demonstration of knowledge and clinical proficiency in laser dentistry. Their educational approach is recognized by dental regulatory agencies. It is ...
Teeth whitening is easily the most popular cosmetic dental treatment, and it’s easy to see why. Patients are able to spend just an hour in the office and leave with a more beautiful smile. And the ramifications of whiter teeth change how others see you, how you feel about yourself, and even how you perform professionally. So what’s holding you back? If you’ve been considering whitening, you owe it to yourself to learn a little more. We’ve put together a handy infographic that answers some of our most-asked whitening questions. It’s time to unleash the full power of your smile - and we can help. Get fast, effective whitening in just a single appointment. All you need to do is get in touch! Infographic: Most-Asked Teeth Whitening Questions   What You Need to Know Before Whitening ...Is that your teeth are unique. What works for a friend or family member might not be the best ...
Have you ever experienced gingivitis or gum disease? Whether you’re noticing inflamed, bleeding gums for the first time, or have a history of gum-related problems, your first priority is getting back to normal. And we’re here to help. By boosting your gingivitis awareness, you can take action when you first notice signs of a problem - and prevent it from progressing to a more serious infection. There is one catch - for some patients, gingivitis doesn’t show the kinds of symptoms that they’ll be able to notice on their own. This is one of the many reasons why you should visit your dentist regularly. For patients who fall into high risk categories mentioned below, that interval may even be more than twice a year. If you’re not sure how often you should be scheduling exams, just get in touch for guidance. Before your next appointment, learn more about the signs of gingivitis ...
Happy Lunar New Year! 2017 is the year of the Fire Rooster. Within Chinese astrology, each year is connected to one of 5 elements, and also an animal. The elements are gold/metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. When combined with the animal, these components form the astrology for the year. The last Fire Rooster year was in 1957. Whether you're hoping to learn more about what Roosters can expect from 2017, or how you can get in on the celebrations, read on! The History of The Chinese Zodiac Long ago, 12 animals competed in a race across a river. The rat received a ride on the back of the kind ox. But as they neared the riverbank, the rat sneakily jumped off, taking first place (the ox  took second). Thus the first year on the Chinese zodiac calendar is the Year of the Rat, followed by the Year of the Ox. The other ...
It hasn’t been long since the oral laser was first introduced to dentistry, but it has changed things for the better. With sophisticated medical lasers, it's never been easier to perform complex dental procedures. What’s more, procedures that once were uncomfortable for some patients are now completely painless, bringing back many who haven’t seen a dentist in years. In 2017 and beyond, dental laser technology will be introduced into many dental practices. In fact, lasers are being applied to new types of treatments every day. Over the next few years, laser treatment may become the standard of care in addition to hand instrumentation. Here Are Some of the Different Laser Therapy Procedures in Dentistry What can you expect from tomorrow’s dental lasers? Let’s look at some key trends: Laser Gum Reshaping and Periodontal Therapy Gum disease treatment used to be costly, time-consuming and painful. With lasers, things are far easier. A laser can be used to ...